Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and an estimated 2,000 pro-democracy supporters gathered in Rangoon to honor the fallen heroes of the nation’s democracy movement. Known as Martyr’s Day in Burma, it is the 64th anniversary of the 1947 assassination of the democracy leader’s father, General Aung San, and his colleagues during a Cabinet meeting shortly after Britain agreed to grant independence to Burma.
NLD Central Executive Committee members, the Committee Representing People’s Parliament (CRPP), veteran politicians, National League for Democracy (NLD) leaders, and People Democracy Network gathered at the headquarters of the National League for Democracy. About 100 people led by NLD Vice Chairman U Tin Oo and Aung San Suu Kyi marched to the Martyrs’ Mausoleum for the official government ceremony to pay respect to the martyrs and offer flower wreaths. It was the first time in nine years that Suu Kyi, who was released from house arrest in November last year, attended the ceremony. The day’s events were believed to be the largest public demonstrations in Burma since 2007, when the country’s military junta launched a deadly crackdown on pro-democracy rallies.
Following the march, the NLD issued a statement saying that it was trying to solve the country’s problems through “political means” and “dialogue.” It said armed struggle was not beneficial for the future of the country and the people in the long run and that it was striving for national reconciliation. It is also working hand in hand with the people for the establishment of true democratic union. It also is promoting political culture with the cooperation of the people.”
The party also urged the government to engage in fair political dialogue towards national reconciliation and releasing unconditionally all 2,000 odd political prisoners.
According to the NLD, after the official ceremony, a private Martyrs’ Day event was held at the party’s headquarters. Veteran politicians, student activists, party members, supporters and diplomats from the U.S., Britain, Australia, Germany and France were among those who attended.